Man Or Astroman? Live at Liquid Joe's on 2001-12-17
*new song, introduced as Onward Through This Bumblefuck of Snow Chains
3-piece lineup: Birdstuff (drums), Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard (bass and more), Trace Reading (guitar)
Interview from 12/11/2001 for context:
Subject: Thanks guys!
I remember the show very well... waiting for the band to come on. More than worth it! It was great to hang out and talk with the guys afterward. Trace let me handle his Mosrite as we discussed guitars. I had submitted to be the OSPLEX agent in SLC and wanted to find out what was up with that. I didn't do anything yet and they gave me a couple CDs anyway. We talked about the advanced technology behind the band's goggles with Coco (I think). Ah... good times.
The recording came out far better than I initially expected. I did some sweetening in a freeware program on my Mac... a little spacialization. Dare I say it (seeing now how many people have downloaded this show) that it was recorded in mono!
I'm proud to see it get out as much as it has. Thanks to the person who helped get it posted in the archive. I originally had it posted on Dimeadozen and another fan emailed me about doing it here.
Enjoy! I owe it to everybody else who has share their recordings with me.
Subject: Memories of the Show.
The drive started out awesome. Hubner rested for the two hours it took to get outside of Portland, and then took the wheel from me, and drove for the next four-ish. I remember waking up and being absolutly shocked how beautiful and serene Northern Oregon was, and surprised how far Erich had driven- he said that the weather was beautiful- no problems. I mentioned that the hotel I booked in Boise had a hot tub. Our future looked good. Then we hit La Grande, OR, and we were greeted with a electric Highway sign stating "SEVERE WEATHER AHEAD- TRUCKS MUST HAVE CHAINS." Hubner said something to the effect of "no Time To Lose!" and charged ahead, up the mountain. As we got up the mountain, it stated getting reeeeeally SCARY. Wind howling, snow blowing sideways, visibility to almost nothing. We got pulled over by an Oregon State Trooper who called us just about every euphimisim you could for "Complete F***ing Dumbasses" and "Stupidest move ever", wrote us a ticket, informed us the Interstate had been closed in the last few minutes, and demanded that we now proceed back down the mountain to La Grande. Erich said, justifiably- "I ain't doing it. I haven't slept since yesterday." and No one wanted to step up to the task- after all who want's to be the one driving a very very heavy Van and Trailer downhill for a few icy miles? A wreck was a sure thing. As the closest thing to a Tour Manager, I stepped up. The trooper followed to see if we would make it safely.
Those couple of miles were the most gut-wrenching of my life. I had to keep the van going as slow as possible to keep the it in a steerable velocity- but every second of braking could send us into a locked-up slide, which happened a few times. Also, as you ride breaks, the fluid heats up, thins out, and becomes less effective, making a wreck even more likely. I honestly don't know how the hell we got down the mountain without crashing.
Once in La Grande, we got one of the last remaining motel rooms in town, and proceeded to ride the storm out (REO Speedwagon!) and call the promoter at the Neurolux and tell him we aren't going to make it. We sat around getting drunk and played poker with a nudie deck.
We woke up the next day with a 500 mile Journey to SLC ahead of us, conditions only slightly improved. The OHP opened the Interstate at about 11am. We had to make it, as this tour was massively in the red. You see, one week earlier we were in Hawaii, on an ill-advised jaunt for three gigs... that turned into two gigs... and then became one gig. It cost us thousands to get there, and I think that one gig made us about like 200 bucks. Not making the Neurolux gig was costing us even more, and now we had an extra hotel in La Grande, and the "No Snow Chains" ticket. I remember that the SLC guarantee was a good one. Gotta make it. (The Hawaii gigs were the entire reason for booking a Pac NW tour in December that had us there in the first place!)
So we hauled ass at ridiculous speeds across frozen terrain. Again, I really can't believe we didn't drive that van and trailer into a ditch and kill ourselves. We got to Joe's about a half hour after doors, and thankfully, the promoter kept his end of the deal, and paid us in full.
We just set up as fast as possible and played- no soundcheck- That's why Hub ended the first song telling me what was needed in the monitors when he normally wouldn't complain out loud in front of a crowd. I didn't get a chance to set up all of my soundboard silliness, but I could get a delay-grab set up in time for Junk Satellite. Normally, I would have a drum delay-grab/divebomb for the beginning of Name of Numbers, listen for it on other boots.
The inclusion of La Grange cracked me up- That was a hold over from our Boston Halloween show as ZZ Top. The lyrics are played in real time off an apple laptop by tapping the keys. It was a platform called "Back To Basics".
Wow, thanks for the head trip to whoever posted this.
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